“Who asked that he be present?”: Neil Mitchell questions why Premier spoke at police press conference
Neil Mitchell has questioned why the Premier was present at a press conference on counter terrorism this morning, stressing police need to be “apolitical”.
Premier Daniel Andrews spoke for about one minute, thanking agencies on behalf of Victorians.
“Very briefly can I simply say on behalf of all Victorians, that we are very proud of the work of that Victoria Police, AFP, ASIO, have been able to undertake in relation to what could have been a potentially deadly incident. I think this again confirms for all Victorians, that we are very well served by Victoria Police counter terrorism command,” Mr Andrews said.
“I’m surprised the Premier was there,” Neil said.
“The Premier was telling us yesterday he doesn’t speak on police operational matters, and he just did.
“It is an election campaign and the police need to be apolitical.
“I don’t blame the police.
“At 8.22 today we were sent an email notification today saying who would be present, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Command Ross Guenther and AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney.
“At 8.38 we were sent an alert from the same source, saying who will be present, the Chief Commissioner and Premier Daniel Andrews.
“Who asked that he be present?”
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The Premier later denied he gatecrashed the news conference and said he was there purely to thank police, not to grab votes.
“This is a ridiculous suggestion,” Mr Andrews said.
“A ridiculous suggestion, if I can say, I was very pleased to stand with the Chief Commissioner and on behalf of all Victorians, thank Victoria Police for the amazing work that they have done.”